About St. Christopher’s
St. Christopher’s Services provides high quality, community-based services to people with intellectual difficulties including respite services for adults and children, community day services and a residential service. Through focusing on individual needs, St. Christopher’s enables those in its care to reach their full potential.
St. Christopher’s went to market for a Workforce Management Solution that could help with:
Elimination of manual and paper-based processes
The organisation wanted their new Workforce Management Solution to enable them to move away from paper-based management of Time and Attendance, Scheduling and Leave for their 250 employees across 24 locations. Niamh O’Connell, HR Manager St. Christopher’s explained
“Our annual leave was tracked on excel and we used paper timesheets. With full time, part time and locum staff, there was a lot of paperwork. Prior to deploying Softworks, we produced over 250 paper timesheets a week.”
Management of multiple locations and roles
St. Christopher’s employs nursing staff, social care and support workers across 24 locations on both a full and part time basis. Full time employees can also work additional locum or relief shifts when they become available.The new Workforce Management System needed to be able to manage Time and Attendance, Scheduling and Leave management for this variety of roles and locations, as well as managing multiple pay rates and leave entitlements.
“There was a huge amount of administration involved in tracking pay rates and annual leave entitlements of different roles within the organisation and this was all being done manually, we wanted a better, more efficient way to manage this.”
Commenting on selecting Softworks, Niamh O’Connell, HR Manager, St. Christopher’s said
“We selected Softworks because we had seen it in place in other healthcare settings where the structure was similar to our own. We were confident Softworks would be flexible enough to manage the complexity of our shifts and rosters.”
St. Christopher’s selected a cloud-based version of Softworks Workforce Management Solution with the following modules:
- Time and Attendance
- Employee Scheduling
- Employee Self-Service
- Absence Management
- Payroll Integration
The HR Team in St. Christopher worked closely with the Softworks Project Manager to ensure their unique working rules and requirements were reflected in the Softworks system before launch.
St. Christopher’s HR team launched a consultation process with employees to inform them about the system implementation and to answer any question they may have. They also conducted a series of training and information sessions for managers and employees.
According to HR Manager Niamh O’Connell, the new Workforce Management System is already delivering many benefits “For us, it’s making things more efficient, it’s improving things and saving us time and there’s more clarity on employees’ contracts and schedules.”
Easier roster management
One of the key benefits of the new system is that Managers can easily create and manage team rosters weeks and even months in advance, while also being able to flexibly manage day-to-day roster changes if needed. Importantly, they retain full visibility of locum shifts vs standard shifts, can easily identify on the roster where relief staff are being used and can track what role relief staff worked in their shift for payroll purposes.
“We’ve set up our day service and residential care rosters in the Softworks system and can now easily manage any day to day changes needed. Managers can simply pull an available locum into their schedule to cover when a person is out.“
Employees were given access to Softworks employee Self-Service features on their laptop or desktop computer and were offered the option to download the App to use on their mobile if they wished. They now use the Self-Service App to clock in and out, check schedules, review summary timesheets, book leave and review leave balances allowing them immediate access to their information and resulting in fewer requests to HR or Managers
“For employees, being able to see their leave balances and track their hours is all new and it’s been a positive for us.”
With employees working across 24 locations and on different shifts, the management team at St. Christopher appreciates the efficiency that having real-time access to schedules brings.
“It’s fantastic to have visibility of how employees are scheduled. If I’m looking for someone, I can go into the system to check their roster. And if for example, I see they’re just coming off nights, I’ll get in touch with them at a different time. It’s a simple thing but from where we were, to where we are now, it’s so beneficial.”
Now St. Christopher’s new Workforce Management system is in place, the team is looking forward to the benefits that easier reporting will bring to the organisation. Niamh O’Connell, HR Manager, St. Christopher’s explained
“Down the line, I know that the reports are going to be so useful to me and for the organisation, especially for reporting out to the Health Service Executive.”
The team also plans to start to use the HR and Skills Management modules of the system in future, further enhancing operational efficiency.